What do you mean by 'voice' or 'vocal instrument'?
Your voice is much more than simply your voice box. It is the sum total of your physiological, emotional, imaginative, experiential and intellectual life. In other words, your vocal instrument is your entire being: body, mind and spirit.
I have taken Voice and Movement as part of my acting training. What do the MVI workshops and intensives offer that I haven't already experienced?
Dancers and singers are continuously training and practicing in order to refine and strengthen their skills. Actors also have much to gain from extending and refining their technique throughout their performance career. In the MVI workshops, the elements of movement, voice and text are seamlessly integrated in a way seldom found in conservatory programs, where each element is approached as a separate aspect of the craft. Speaking from the 'whole' of you is an exhilarating experience, enabling you to play the entire spectrum of human experience.
Are the intensive workshops really intense?
There is no misnomer in the programs given the name. Whether a week or three weeks long, it is one of the most intense and fulfilling periods you are likely to experience as an artist. You can expect to be in session full days, from 8:30am to at least 6:00pm (and sometimes later). There will often be some 'homework' to complete as well.
What advantages are there in taking a short workshop of one, two or three days?
Many! A short workshop might offer you the opportunity to review, refresh and reconnect in a way you haven't for some time, appraching the material with a beginner's mind and hence dropping more fully into the work. On the other hand, a short workshop might be an opportunity for you to join faculty members in the exploration of a specific aspect of their research - for instance, anatomy, or extended voice, or legacy voice.
I am not an actor. Can I participate in the MVI workshops? Will I be at a disadvantage?
Abosloutely you can participate. This work will be of benefit to everyone who has an interest in exploring and expanding the authenticity and expressivity of their voice, as well as improving communication skills, including listening. As the workshops are constructed in such a way that everyone is working from their own core being, in a supportive and constructive atmosphere, each person's experience will unfold exactly as it should. Stepping aside from judgement and competitiveness is central to the work.
Some of the workshops use primarily Shakespeare text. Why not more relevant, contemporary material?
The nature of our work as actors and performing artists is to dive deep into our imaginations to discover rich impulses unique to each actor. Shakespearean text is the perfect material for developing these abilities for three reasons:
What about accommodations?
The MVI does not provide or arrange accommodations but we can suggest resources to assist you. Many people search sites such as AirBnB and on the UBC campus there are some student housing options available.
I can stay with a friend in town. It's free. Is this a good idea given the schedule?
Possibly, with a couple of considerations. Keep in mind that the time it takes to commute and the effect of that commute may have an impact on your system, which will be experiencing many new sensations throughout the workshop. Also, you may find it challenging to fully commit to the shifts and changes arising from the daily work if the people you are staying with are not understanding of this.
Can I take time out for auditions and work?
While at the workshops, it is disruptive to the process and the dynamic to miss sessions. If you can at all avoid working, we recommend you do it. Part of this work is making a commitment to yourself and to your practice. Time is the greatest treasure. Give yourself this time to honour and invest in your work.